The first Connecting for Good Ideas Factory took place on Friday 14 September at FarGo Village market place in Coventry.
The Ideas Factory brought together a group of around 40 people who care about how social isolation affects all kinds of people in the city and want to end it for good. It is in simple terms an informal meeting where your idea can make friends.
Last week marked the start of our Connecting for Good movement against isolation in Coventry. It’s been a busy few days since then so we’re taking a moment to reflect on the day and capture some of the great feedback, news coverage and photos.
Click here to view the story so far on Wakelet. Read all about it in the Coventry Telegraph here!
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Wednesday and please look out for more news soon. To get involved, email Jess, Dom, Alice or Mel from the team.
One week from today an inspiring city centre event heralds a new chapter for people in Coventry – including some with disabilities, job seekers, recent arrivals, new parents, young people and older people. All united by a common feeling of isolation.
The ‘Connecting for Good Walk & Talk’ on Wednesday 8 August aims to bring together individuals who are or have been isolated from society as well as the services which tackle the effects of isolation, such as Public Health.
With backing from the Big Lottery Fund to the tune of £500,000 over the next three years, Grapevine’s ‘Connecting for Good’ movement hopes to help at least 3,000 Coventry residents connect to others on a richer and more widespread level than ever before.
The movement is based on evidence that isolation makes people more vulnerable to abuse, cruelty and loneliness. It can also be linked to ill health as has been widely reported recently.
The movement approach has already proven effective as our Deputy CEO Mel explains in this video.
Mel herself experienced isolation as a single parent to her son Rishard, who also has Down’s syndrome. Rishard’s life nearly went down a very different path to the one he enjoys now as an established actor pursuing his dream of an independent life.
The first event starts from a bench on the bridge across the city’s ring road between Greyfriars Green and Coventry train station at 12 noon.
Participants will follow a mapped out route into the city, met along the way by thought-provoking story tellers and artistic performances about experiences of isolation.
The Walk & Talk will weave its way to a local eatery and from this event and many other planned activities, a movement will grow.
Connecting for Good’s vision of a ‘culture of connectedness’ also runs parallel to the city’s own aspirations for its year as UK City of Culture in 2021. In line with these aspirations, Connecting for Good seeks to bring people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to the celebrations through their new found networks and friendships – changing lives now and sustaining those changes well beyond 2021.
For the second event celebrating IWD in Nuneaton, Mel from Escape Arts led an art session with folk at the Ramsden Centre.
The group had great fun with paints, brushes, stamps and sponges to create a piece of artwork to be displayed at a series of IWD events over the next two weeks.
We are proud to say lots of mess was made, laughter filled the room and everyone enjoyed the experience.
The session was made possible by Dawn from Grapevine Empowerment Service and Maxine who is the Community Development officer for Nuneaton and Wembroook. It was a great example of partnership working within the local community.
Find out what else is going on and how you can get involved.
Every one got the chance to share their thoughts on what would make an amazing local Day through Ideas Factories organised by our own Dawn Nicholls. More importantly people pledged their support to help make it happen!
Atherstone Speaking Up group visited Atherstone Leisure Centre
They met with Peter Wheaton, Leisure Facilities Manager for North Warwickshire Borough Council, and some of the team.
Some of the group are regular users of the gym so gave Peter some feedback about what’s great about it, like friendly staff. But some of the group had not been in before and they explained their reasons – not being able to see signs about what’s on offer, for example.
They really enjoyed their time and felt that it helped Peter and the team to understand how to improve the service for everyone.
Peter said ” The outcomes from the session will enhance the more general experience for the whole community which is a real positive outcome”.
Local community as equal partners in pool, play and support
Mel has been working with Coventry Sports Foundation to help encourage more people into the pool. ‘The Big Paddle’ helps adults who are nervous about swimming to get confident in water. No swimming costumes were needed and help was on hand if needed. Tea and cake were provided afterwards as a treat for those who mastered their fears.
If you would like to try one of their FREE adult swimming lessons contact Natalie – Goswim@covsf.com for more details
Back by popular demand! Local woman Melissa’s main aim of the Walk is to bring people together to spread Feel Good vibes and get everyone’s Feel Good chemicals supercharged.
Everyone is welcome so please bring your best smile, wear something amazing (fancy dress optional but most welcomed) and bring a friend…
As Melissa’s events are all about the community we have booked the a room at the Visitors Centre so we can get together over a brew and a slice of homemade cake.
Our Feel Good Ambassadors will be on hand to help you make some amazing random acts of kindness that you can give out on the gentle amble around the park
12-1:30 Feel Good Creative activities, tea, coffee and cake
1:30-2:00 Gentle Walk in the park spreading out Feel Good vibes
Events like this only happen with people like YOU!
If you would like to help we need donations of homemade cakes and some RAOK – party bubbles and dog treats went down well last time . If you can help please let us know what you are bringing so we don’t have too much of one thing!